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Smoking diners to take it outside as Tokyo ban kicks in

47 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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47 Comments
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That took Japan long enough. I hope this policy sticks, I really hate smelling smoldering tobacco while eating

25 ( +30 / -5 )

something to cheer about.

"But several restaurants...have built designated smoking areas."

I sure hope those areas are sealed off.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Smoking room...that sounds like a great place to spread covid19. Why not just smoke a home and let the rest of breathe fresh clean air.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Finally!! About 20 years too late... but good news nonetheless.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

But Tokyo has a loophole for small places where smoking will still be allowed so not really a total ban.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"I can't just stop. It's an indulgence."

Not just an indulgence, an addiction. Keith Richard said it was much harder to stop his tobacco addiction than his heroin addiction, which gives you an idea of how addictive nicotine is.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Family ones are exempt? Damn, those are the ones that serve "real" food, though :(

Anyway, as mentioned, it's full of loopholes. Should just be a blanket ban.

This legislation is just like the recent tax hike, the proposed coronavirus stimulus package, etc, etc. Overly complicated by masses of red tape.

To Japanese lawmakers: how about keeping things simple? Saves time, is more efficient and doesn't confuse people.

Win,win,win.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

JT has too much influence for there to be a total ban!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

One of the things I liked best about Japan when I visited was that restaurants [ in Osaka anyway] had a section for the smokers and a section for the non smokers - seems a bit more civilised and reasonable than the total ban we have in the UK - after all non smokers do benefit from tobacco taxes.

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

The guy smoking in the photo reminds me of the Japanese gut in Lost in Translation smoking near Bill Murray in the bar.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Guy!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The WHO has said tobacco users are likely to be more vulnerable to being infected by the virus, but for smokers like Ryo Okumura, that's not enough of an incentive to quit.

Well, go ahead. It's no skin off my back. You just can't teach an old dog new tricks. I guess this is all part of evolution.

fleetwood77:

One of the things I liked best about Japan when I visited was that restaurants [ in Osaka anyway] had a section for the smokers and a section for the non smokers

I don't know about you, but the places I went to, I could still smell something when I ate in the non-smoking section. I remember when this whole concept of 'no smoking' started in Japanese cafes - they put non-smoking tables right next to smoking tables. Somehow, there was an invisible partition between the tables.

Is JT going to delete my comments yet again if I were to say smokers are drug addicts? Nicotine is a drug. And these smokers admit they can't and won't give up.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

ALL pachinko parlors in Japan are now "smoke free" zones as well!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

A smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool!

22 ( +25 / -3 )

@Pukey JT deletes your comments because you criticise smoking? JT = Japan Tobacco!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I've smoked for over 35 years but I haven't smoked in a restaurant in over 10 years. It's wrong.

And on a better note 10 days ago I started taking a prescribed drug that stops the nicotine activating the dope mine when I smoke. 8 days off now and painless enough. Here's hoping I can keep it up

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Japan is changing, slowly, slowly.. I miss good old Japan from 90´s...

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

I just hate it when I walk into a restaurant or cafe and then hit with a thick cloud of smoke. I usually turn and leave.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Typical Japan with their half-assed measures and never reinforced bi-laws.

Guess they haven't read some of the more recent papers and research done on third-hand smoke and how it's almost as bad as second-hand smoke.

Get them out of there already! Enough is enough.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Fantastic! Nothing ruins my dining experience as much as a person seated next to me smoking and ruining my air. Fortunately it rarely happens.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Smokers in a bar stink the whole place up and also when you leave you, your clothes, your hair, your jacket everything smells liek a stinking filthy ashtray and the stinking filthy smokers in the bar, damn I hated that.

Now though it will be so much nicer not to have to put up with their stinking enviroment.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

second-hand smoke kills around 15,000 people a year in Japan, many of them women and children

People who smoke are both selfish and stupid. Their disgusting addiction kills not only themselves, but also people around them, with long slow painful illnesses. Tobacco taxes ought to be raised, sales restricted, and smoking made illegal everywhere except for in the addict's own home (unless there are children there, in which case that ought to be illegal too).

11 ( +16 / -5 )

The ban is good news..something that has been lacking of late.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Yeah but packing themselves right in front of the entry ways doesn't help either and then the mess left behind. Or they could just be in the parking lots puffing away and non smokers have to put up with second hand smoke there too. Just ban it period and keep it to their homes, This is just a personal usage habit and not for the well being of overall public. Just like gasoline, not every person has a car that needs gas, right. It is a personal option if one wants a car or find other means for transportation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Human will is a weak thing," he said. "I don't want to stop. If I am able to smoke, I will."

This guy deserves to smoke!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Even when I was still smoking, I never understood how somebody could smoke while eating. Afterwards, sure. But, in Japan, I see (mostly older) guys with a cig burning in the ashtray while eating their food, taking drags between bites. WTH? How do they even taste their food?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Ban smoking and vaping, vapes stink to high heaven and have their own health risks.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I'm quite happy about this ban but I'm also a bit annoyed. In Japan it feels like they progressively ban smoking everywhere without giving any proper alternative.

In Europe – for the most part – you can't smoke inside but you can smoke outside. In Japan you can't smoke in the streets, you can't smoke inside, try to walk around Tokyo to find a designated smoking area. Of course, this causes people smoking sneakily in side streets and so on.

If Japan wants to look super cool and show everyone how nobody smokes here, they should grow a pair and go ahead with banning sales of cigarettes. But the way of “we get your tax money” while you can't smoke anywhere is pretty annoying.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Activists say second-hand smoke kills around 15,000 people a year in Japan, many of them women and children.

Sounds to me like we should fear second hand smoke more than this virus. Also, remember one thing, the LDP and their paymasters at Nippon Kaigi own shares of JT, so the deaths of 15,000 people a year in, many of which are women and children, THEY OWN THAT. Their deaths are on the LDP's hands. Remember THAT the next time one of the LDP trolls comes screaming at you about how we are "Japan haters". The LDP is funding an industry that is killing 15,000 women and children a year.

The WHO has said tobacco users are likely to be more vulnerable to being infected by the virus, but for smokers like Ryo Okumura, that's not enough of an incentive to quit.

Well, go ahead. It's no skin off my back. You just can't teach an old dog new tricks. I guess this is all part of evolution.

exactly! if this virus ends up killing a ton of smokers, this might be the kick in the butt the LDP needs to put proper anti smoking legislation into place.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

In Japan it feels like they progressively ban smoking everywhere without giving any proper alternative.

Of course there is a very proper alternative.

Don't smoke.

If your addiction is so bad that your own willpower is not enough, go see your doctor, he can help.

they should grow a pair and go ahead with banning sales of cigarettes

Yes.

Invalid CSRF

10 ( +13 / -3 )

"But several restaurants, worried about losing customers, have built designated smoking areas. "For customers who don't smoke, we have listened to their voices," said Akihiro Funyu, manager of a Tokyo izakaya, or bar. "But here, we've created a smoking room to listen to the smokers' voices too.""

Well, hopefully you lose your business, since you can't get with the times.

Next, they need to ban it outdoors, and not with a 1000 yen fine if caught, with a 500,000 yen fine for starters.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Human will is a weak thing," he said. "I don't want to stop. If I am able to smoke, I will.

Then do it outside all by yourself or at home. It's no one business if you do it somewhere you're not bothering anyone else not infesting their lungs, just yours.

Went to this amazing restaurant with great music performance and great food. One table full of human chimneys oyajis and by the time I'm leaving the restaurant I'm coughing and my voice is all weird, my asthma ready to kick in. All thanks to selfish smokers who lack common sense.

My Japanese teacher died of lung cancer. The guy used to smoke at least a box a day. Heard from my brothers that my dad used to smoke around my pregnant mom and I was born asthmatic. My friend's dad smoked a box a day during his younger days and at 68 the guy looks like he's 98. The house's walls are yellow but I saw a picture of the original color and they used to be white. His two sons and older daughter, all three of them have black teeth and some of them are halfway rotten (or something). They all smoke heavily at home. All these coincidence? I think not. And worse, they told me that they don't think smoking is bad for your health after I confronted them for smoking at home all together at the same time, while the daughter's 7 years girl rested in the same room.

Anyway, back to the main topic of the article. The law comes with loopholes so no, they're not banning indoor smoking. "But, but restaurants and bars will go bankrupt if they ban smoking in them." Nope! quite the opposite. More people will go. Smokers would simply go puff outside and come back in. I can only hope latin clubs like Cafe Latino become non-smoking. I love dancing salsa but five minutes in that place and your clothes smell like you haven't taken a shower for a month.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Addiction to any drug, in this case nicotine, is a frightening and powerful thing.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Great but will it be enforced.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I carry an asthma inhaler. If someone goes to light up, I pull it out immediately and kindly request they don’t smoke. Has never failed yet. Every non-smoker should carry one. Makes smokers feel very guilty.

Remember when you could smoke on the trains here and crush the butts on the floors? In food stores as well.

Then it became station platform everywhere, and after that to designated platform areas..now nowhere.

i saw that change since 1984. Kind of slow ne.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

How is it that the same government that runs the national insurance scheme is in the business of selling a product that, used as directed, causes cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Is the ban only in Tokyo? Smoking indoors should be banned in all public spaces Restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs etc...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Smoking cancer sticks should be made totally illegal in public. Only your own house, can indulge in this filthy habit.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

About time! Well done Tokyo!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And the rest of the story; "What this study basically showed is what people kind of knew already: At low passive exposures the risk is not that great," he said. "While that's good news, it shouldn't stop anyone from saying, "I don't want to be a in a bar or any place else with someone who is smoking."

Walking past people smoking is not going to give you any disease.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/12/12/study-finds-no-link-between-secondhand-smoke-and-cancer/#2aee113665d4

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

This filthy and vile anti-social habit should be permanently banned everywhere.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Good.

And any smoker found discarding cigarette ends on the street should be made to pick them up, along with any others in the vicinity, and eat them on the spot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Walking past people smoking is not going to give you any disease.

The study you cited specifies only lung cancer, not any disease

The study doesn't cover the many other ill effects of breathing somebody else's cigarette smoke, of course, which include asthma and possibly cardio-pulmonary disease.

As someone with very mild asthma, I find the only thing that brings an attack on these days is spending three days in Tokyo or three minutes sitting in a room next to a smoker.

Invalid CSRF

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I cannot understand why so many smokers go out of their way to throw their cigarettes into the drains. Can't see them, so no problem? It's like sweeping dust under the rug. At least, out in the open, they can be picked up and disposed of properly. There's enough crap in the sewers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tobacco smokers are pathetic drug addicts in desperate need of help. Banning smoking nicotine in all its forms, in all public places, is a great way to encourage and help addicts to quit. And to protect the health of non smokers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

after all non smokers do benefit from tobacco taxes.

not really as those taxes are use for healthcare when smoker get sick and or die from smoking related illness, cancer isn't the main killer of smokers its actually respiratory circulatory illness like emphysema and strokes. Smokes are 8 times more likely to die form these conditions than non smokers, smokers on average live about 7 yrs less than non smokers

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All the no smokers complaining about smoking oin restaurants, but probably they are so dumb that they always choose smoking facilities. I have never understood how you measure the levelof civilization of a society considering the ban of a free choice, because yes smoking is a free choice like opening a smoking establishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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